Stitch and Stone Design $50 Giveaway and Review!

I am in love with dainty necklaces lately. As I was perusing Etsy, there was a shop that caught my eye that specializes in beautiful, handcrafted, personalized jewelry. Everything that Michele from Stitch and Stone Design makes is gorgeous. I had an extremely difficult time finding one item I wanted to wear! I wanted to get several! From the beautiful glass and druzy drop earrings to the metal lace filigree statement necklace, she has truly one of a kind items. 
I decided to order the tiny white enamel and gold initial charm necklace with the clear gemstone. I personalized this necklace with my daughter Lillian’s initial and her birthstone. 
Well, what can I say? The necklace is just beautiful. When I pulled it out of the box I was so impressed with how lovely and well made this necklace is. The chain is more shimmery than I expected. The chain is adjustable so you can wear it long or short. I love that option. The tiny white “L” and clear gemstone are just enough to make a statement. I just love this addition to my jewelry wardrobe.It is a necklace I can wear every day. It adds just enough shimmer and bling and is so beautiful.
Michele, the shop owner at Stitch and Stone Design, is located in Austin, TX. She has almost 300 reviews and is given 5 stars across the board. Her jewelry speaks for itself. She is delightful to work with and is open to custom orders, working with brides for bridesmaids gifts, and specializes in handcrafted, one of a kind jewelry sure to delight anyone. Check out her shop! 
Oh, the best part of this whole post is that Michele has agreed to give away a $50 store credit to Stitch and Stone Design just in time for the holidays! 
Thank you to Michele at Stitch and Stone Design for giving away $50 store credit to one of The Dwelling Tree readers!
 *I received this product in exchange for showcasing this shop. All opinions expressed are my own. This giveaway is open to US residents only, 18 and older. All entries will be verified.  

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41st Let’s Be Friends Blog Hop! Time to link up!

Welcome to the Let’s Be Friends Blog Hop!
A blog hop is a set time frame for current or aspiring bloggers to find new blogs and quality content. It is a great way to make new friends and find inspiration! It is also a fabulous way to promote your own blog and posts.
Dear Friends,
Welcome to the 41st Let’s Be Friends Blog Hop!
Other than our new look, there are a few changes taking place, for the better. The first change is that the hop will be held every Tuesday at 9am (MST) instead of over the weekend. The reason for this change is that there are already tons of weekend hops, and we wanted to make this hop more accessible to our audience.
The second change is that the hop will focus on content from here on out. I love the idea of blog hopping, but I love the idea of reading posts and quality content on new blogs I’ve never been to even more. Instead of simply linking up your blog button, you are now able to link up your favorite post you recently wrote. Have a delicious recipe to share, DIY tutorial, or heartfelt post? Share it with us! All hosts and co-hosts put up some unique and fun content from the past week. Make sure to check them out. P.S.- you may still link up your blog button and blog name, but it is encouraged to link up your favorite post instead. You will get more page views and interest if you do so! Some of the most successful blog hops I have participate in focus on content rather than just exchanging follows. You never know who will become a loyal follower or pin that delicious new recipe you posted!
The BEST part of this blog hop? Each week there will be a WINNER! That’s right, each week we will choose one lucky blog to feature from the previous week’s hop. This hop receives thousands of page views every week, so your blog will have the chance to be center stage for free. You must follow all the hosts and co-hosts in order to win.
The last exciting change is that the co-host spots will now be available to all sponsors of All My Happy Endings or The Dwelling Tree. If you are interested in co-hosting the blog hop, email Tiffany or Mandi about sponsorship opportunities and how to co-host the weekly hop!
Let’s Be Friend’s Blog Hop Guidelines
1. Link up your favorite post from your week.
2. Follow your hosts and co-hosts.
3. Grab the button and post it on your blog so we can share the love.
4. Visit 3 other blogs and follow them along!
5. Tweet about this blog hop, using #letsbefriends
6. Pin the button on pinterest so we can spread the news! 
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***Once a week, one blog will be chosen to be the featured blogger from the previous blog hop. You must follow all the hosts and co-hosts in order to win.

Meet your hosts:
The Dwelling Tree: Blog, Bloglovin’
All My Happy Endings: Blog, Bloglovin’
  
and your co-hosts:
Osborne, My Life in Words: BlogTwitter
Samantha Elizabeth: BlogBloglovin’
Holli’s Hoots and Hollers: Blog, Bloglovin’
Simple Moments Stick: Blog, Bloglovin’
 My Show Amanda: Blog, Facebook
Don’t Judge Me: Blog, Facebook
Simply Free: Blog, Twitter
Back Home Again: Blog, Bloglovin’
***This weeks featured post from last week’s hop:
Aw man, Amberly, why did you have to put up such a cute pic of your dog? Anyways, the  moment I saw this post it caught my eye. Partly because my husband and I have been on the fence for awhile about getting a puppy. I love the reasons Amberly lists out on this blog post for “Why every marriage needs a puppy”. I love #2 the bestThere is always someone to keep you company when your spouse is gone. So true. Anyways, it is a great post and one worth reading. Plus, I just love this photo. It is rather Pinterest worthy for family photos including your pet! 
*Remember YOU can be next weeks winner! 🙂

How to keep your head up when Blog Land wants to put you down

Hey guys,
I wanted to take a moment to thank you all for being a big part of my life. Words cannot really express what I am trying to say, but this blog and the people it has connected me to has made such a difference in my life. I have often felt extreme gratitude, humility, success, and failure through this blog. Let me explain.
There have been so many amazing and heartfelt comments, emails, and connections I have received. There have been times I didn’t know how to respond to express how I felt, times I think I responded with so much excitement that I freaked the person out, and times in my personal life when things were so busy at home that I neglected my email and blog due to utter exhaustion and lack of time. There have been times this blog has felt like so much work that I have contemplated jumping ship. There have been times I’ve just wanted to spend eight hours at Starbucks writing content. I have put my family first over my blog, and have put my blog over my family.
I suppose what I am trying to say is without all of you I definitely would not still be blogging. It is much more than I originally thought. To be extremely transparent, I sometimes get sick of all the competition and stats and giveaways. I get stuck sometimes. It’s hard- you know? You spend all this time writing and hope to make a little money for your time (I mean, I’m not rich, and my time is valuable). Then I get worried that I spend too much time focusing on giveaways or sponsored posts. But then I want to cover my bills for various costs that go into blogging, etc! See the predicament? I know I am commited to sticking with my values for why I started this blog- to share my faith and life with other women and to have a real discussion board for real issues. It just seems like such a catch 22 now to get your blog accessible to others, cover costs, and be able to provide good content. I hate knowing that I sometimes add to the madness, get stuck in it- but I know that this blog has such a deeper meaning for me in the end. There have been so many women that have inspired me to keep it simple and continue to focus on writing good content and being “real” even when there are so many distractions in Blog Land.
I have several friends in ministry that express the same sentiment. There is something yucky feeling about getting paid for something you love to do- something that should be pro bono. That’s where I struggle.
So many of you have touched me. I’ve watched women in the blogging world do amazing things. I’ve seen some post about beautiful, heartfelt issues that have touched and inspired me. I am blown away by how some of you are so connected and make time daily to read blogs and comment on them. Some of you rock at tweeting and promoting your other blogger friends. Some of you are just hilarious and so darn talented with words, growing your blog, and design that I feel like a newbie all over again.
Thank you all for the impact you’ve made on me. There are many of you who have helped me in a crunch, mentored me, or have just taken the time to reach out and say hello. So many of you stay connected and take a moment to comment on my sometimes silly personal life. It is really humbling, honestly, and I don’t even know how to say thanks. I feel like I know so so many of you through the small connection we share here. I then visit your place on the web and feel even more connected.
I think the most amazing part of it all is realizing how much we all share in common. We talk about our struggles with motherhood, marriage, and relationships. We laugh together. We do goofy, fun things and link ups. We get all “girly” and talk about our opinions on makeup or clothes. We gush about our children and husbands. We cry out for help when we experience loss or suffering. We point to injustice in the world. We face ethical dilemmas, concerns about our blog, and balancing our life. Sometimes I get lonely in my world, and when I get online and read your stories, I realize many of you feel the same way. I’ve met so many women who trust Jesus, who struggle with their faith, and who are real about where they are in the journey. It’s all so lovely.
So, thank you. Thanks for being a part of my life.You never know how much you can impact someone through a small email, comment, or tweet. Let me just say, on several occasions, I have felt truly blessed, loved, and grateful for friends around the world I have never met in person but meet with daily in Blog Land.